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I got a question the other day from reader Eugene, who writes in to say

I booked a 7 night stay at the Sheraton Rio De Janeiro, using the air + hotel voucher. I chose the location due to it being a category 4 and the location. It was booked under my daughters name(she is a minor). I get an email today informing me that reservations are being canceled due to hotel maintenance. The reservation was for March 3-10.This is the same time as the carnival so there is a shortage of rooms in the area. If there are any rooms they are cash only rooms, with prices starting for the needed nights around $400. Does the hotel have any obligation to accommodate me or provide some form of compensation? There are 4 hotels there, one is almost full, one is closed, and 2 are 15 miles away from the location of the original booking. I will not have a car, I will be using Uber.

a pool with palm trees and a beach in the background

Hotels canceling reservations

My first thought was that generally no, there isn’t a ton of recourse with hotel reservations. I’m not sure what (if any) status Eugene has with Marriott, but that might potentially help. It’s not like flights with Europe, which are covered

But then I started looking through the hotel website, and there’s nothing on there talking about any type of maintenance. It’s clearly still accepting reservations (though it says it’s sold out for these dates). I’m wondering if there isn’t something shady going on with the hotel due to the busy season.

Any suggestions?

Any suggestions on recourse for Eugene? He has already tried contacting Marriott and hasn’t gotten anywhere. Like I said, my suspicion is that the hotel is playing games due to the busy season (Carnival) and was oversold, so started bouncing points reservations first, but this seems super shady.

What would you do in this situation?

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